Connecticut Cultural Consumers. Connecticut Humanities Council Connecticut Landmarks Research by Reach Advisors. The Research.
Connecticut Cultural Consumers Connecticut Humanities Council Connecticut Landmarks Research by Reach Advisors
The Research Connecticut Cultural Consumers survey -n=4,450 from 24 CT cultural institutions -Review of CT demographic and macroeconomic indicators Field-wide visitors surveys -2007 Association of Children’s Museums (n>5,000 from 33 US museums) -2008 outdoor history (n>5,000 from 13 US museums) -2008 Association of Science-Technology Centers (n>14,000 respondents) Consumer research / demographic analysis -Spring ‘08 lifestyle survey (n=2,275 adults in 20s and 30s) -10,000s households for client work
The Big Questions ? Who is the cultural consumer in CT? What are Museum Advocates, and why are they important? What are their interpretation preferences? What is the role of historic house museums?
Why They Visit 53% immersion in history, art 53% curious, love to learn 49% sense of place 30% important to community 29% authenticity 26% family learning
Why They Join 62% support community organizations 58% improve programs/exhibits 50% support cultural organizations 25% pay for services received 17% saves money 6% because “I was asked”
Interpretation Preferences -Topline 68% on own, with text panels/brochures 48% programs/events 45% guided tours 34% audio tours 29% hands-on activities 25% talking with staff 17% classes/workshops 9% videos/electronic media
Historic House Museum and Guided Tours 45% enjoy guided tours 7% sometimes enjoy guided tours 48% do not enjoy guided tours
Historic House Museum and Guided Tours While 49% of Museum Advocates enjoy guided tours . . . . . . only 39% of Core Visitors enjoy them . . . . . . do guided tours keep the general public away?
Tours: A Polarizing Interpretation Method Respondents feel: -trapped, controlled, pressured …or stimulated Other visitors are: -annoying, distracting …or insightful Guides are: -monotonous, condescending, insipid, intimidating … - or passionate, smart, articulate Tours are: -dumbed down, too structured, boring …or fun, enriching
Why People Enjoy Tours 68% In-depth information -“They provide the depth and scope that we'd miss on our own.” -“Often provides information you didn't know to ask about.” 22% Interaction -“You can't get questions answered from a sign.” 22% Personal touch -“Guided tours bring the museum to life.” -“There is nothing better than the excitement and personal connection that a dynamic guide can offer.”
Why People Dislike Tours 55% prefer self-guided experiences -“Part of the reason I go to museums is to explore by myself, as an antidote to structured activities.” -“Maybe I want to go faster or slower” -“If I don't need a guide to watch TV or go to a football game or to an art museum, why do I need a guide to see a historic house museum?”
The Challenge of Guided Tours 13% cite uneven quality of guides -“Most do not seem like they enjoy what they are doing.” -“The pedantic and self-satisfied style of most tour guides is a real turn-off.” -“Usually canned monologues” 11% say too crowded -“Feel like a sheep being herded from one room to the next.” -“Too short to see over the heads of basketball players.”
If they could do anything, what would they do? 29% closer proximity to/touch artifacts 15% eat and drink 14% hands-on activities 13% attend/host parties 10% extended stay 9% behind the scenes 9% respite
What They Would Love to do Instead –Women Over 50 Experience site at a slower pace • -“Browse.” • -“Tour very slowly and enjoyably without noise!!!” Passive communion with surroundings • -“Sit in a comfortable arm chair, drink in hand, and immerse myself in art work of particular interest.” -“Sit down and become part of the house. Sink into the lives lived there in the past.”
The Challenges Audiences at art, history museums skew older (50+), female Engagement of moms Creating more Museum Advocates Dissatisfaction with guided tours
Historic House Museums Create other options for access Incorporate hands-on elements Expand opportunities for closer interactions Present layers of detail Show nooks and crannies Encourage communion with past Facilitate social experiences
Museums Have It Places of: -Thoughtfulness: “A great place to learn and have fun” -Wonder: “I have experiences I don't expect” -Inspiration: “They expand my thinking” -Connection: “Priceless memory shared between family/friends” -Solace: “I forget the real world for a while” -Community: “They are the foundations of modern life, society”